Eric Doyle had a double celebration on January 1, welcoming both the New Year and his 40th birthday by running 40k around the streets of Aberdeen. Eric Doyle was the first baby to be born in Scotland in 1971 and to mark the momentous occasion of reaching 40 years he decided to forego the traditional New Year's Day hangover, pull on his trainers and run for a cause very close to his hearts.
Eric is a leading light in the 82AD group which was set up recently to celebrate the life of Andrew Dunne. Andrew died on October 3, 2010 during the first Scottish Kilomathon. Eric and two other friends, James Knipe and Colin Reid, were running with Andy that day. Andy was wearing a red shirt and was competitor number 82. Now the trio of friends plus a number of others wear red shirts with 82AD (Andy Dunne's initials), and take part in running events in Andy's memory, raise money for charity and have lots of fun doing it.
Eric Doyle is a regular runner having taken part in the Tough Guy Challenge, the Chris Hoy Half Marathon and the Ythan Challenge in 2010 all in the company of Andy Dunne. But how did he deal with pushing himself to the limit when the rest of his countrymen were taking it easy?
Eric told scottishrunningguide.com: "The run was great, I would highly recommend it to anyone turning 40!
"I chose to do it at Aberdeen Beach front, along the lower promenade and back along the top - 4 miles round trip. I knew it was flat, it would be cool with the sea breeze and it was accessible for anyone who wanted to come and join in. I was worried that it would be too monotonous but it turned out to be perfect.
"I had great support. My wife was on hand with gels and fluids and did the last 8K with me. Friends and colleagues came throughout to do sections with me. I was rarely running alone. It was excellent to see the support and it really helped.
"The first half of the run was strong and I felt good, 20 to 30k was ok but, I was beginning to get tired towards 30. I really felt it at around 34K - Sarah my wife gave me some encouraging words and I got through. I think I would have been better if I'd had a few more longer runs before the snow hit and my planned training was hampered."
So Eric was it worth it? "No question. We raised £4,000 for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland. And it was special to be running as part of 82AD and in memory of Andy."
You can find the link to Eric's Just Giving page at the 82AD website.